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MoU between India and Bangladesh approved
- The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU on cooperation in the field of disaster management, resilience and mitigation signed between India and Bangladesh.
- The MoU was signed in March 2021 during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Bangladesh.
- The MoU seeks to put in place a system so that both the countries benefit from the Disaster Management mechanisms of each other.
5th meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers held
- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal chaired the 5th meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers through video conferencing on 18 August 2021.
- The Industry Ministers of BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa attended the meeting.
- They expressed their intention to collaborate with the New Development Bank (NDB).
Centre for Research set up at IIT-Hyderabad
- Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence set up at IIT Hyderabad.
- The institute has an agreement with Honeywell Technology Solutions for setting up the lab.
- It has been set up in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency-JICA.
India, Vietnam undertake maritime exercise
- INS Ranvijay and INS Kora undertook a bilateral maritime exercise with Vietnam People’s Navy frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012) in the South China Sea on 18 August 2021.
- INS Ranvijay is a guided-missile destroyer and the latest of the Rajput class.
- The sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills, and helicopter operations.
World Photography Day: 19 August
- World Photography Day is celebrated every year on 19 August.
- The day is observed all over the world to celebrated the art, craft, science and history of photography.
- History of World Photography Day can be traced back to the late 1830s when Louis Daguerre developed the first-ever photographic process by inventing the ‘daguerreotype’.
- The French govt announced the invention on 19 Aug 1839.
Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0 launched
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 in New Delhi on 19 August 2021 through video conferencing.
- DISC 5.0 will have more challenges than the first four DISC editions taken together.
- Ministry of Defence has earmarked a total of Rs 1000 cr for domestic procurement through the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative for FY 2021-2022.
BSNL sign an agreement with USOF
- Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on 18 August 2021.
- The agreement aims at making available high-quality and high-speed internet access to the States of North Eastern Region of the country.
- Under the Agreement, USOF will provide financial support to BSNL for a period of three years for hiring International Bandwidth.
BRICS members to share satellite data
- The BRICS Space agencies Heads have signed an agreement for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing.
- The meeting was chaired by India.
- The agreement enables building a virtual constellation of specified remote sensing satellites of BRICS space agencies and their respective ground stations would receive the data.
- BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
JNU to set up medical college and hospital
- The Jawaharlal Nehru University cleared the proposal to set up a medical college and a hospital on the university campus.
- It would offer PhD, MD PhD, MD, MS, DM, MCh and MBBS degree programmes with an emphasis on modern medicine integrated with traditional medicine and knowledge systems.
- The hospital would offer super-speciality treatment including cardiology, neurology, and pulmonology.
MoS attends SCO Culture Ministers meeting
- Minister of State for Culture, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal participated in the SCO Culture Ministers Meeting on 18 August 2021 hosted by Tajikistan.
- The discussion was held on the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation, prospects for cooperation in the field of culture within the SCO, including in the post-pandemic period, and the importance of cultural cooperation within the SCO.
Raj. Governor releases 8 postal ‘covers’
- Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on 18 August 2021 released eight postal ‘covers’ on the state’s art, craft and culture.
- These are prepared by the Department of Posts.
- These cards are based on various specialities of different geographical regions of Rajasthan, including famous Molela clay work and Pokaran pottery, Kota Doria, Theva Jewellery, and others.
Priya to be part of #DiasporaDiplomacy series
- Grammy-nominated Indian American singer Priya Darshini would be going to host a virtual workshop as part of the #DiasporaDiplomacy series by the U.S. Consulate General Chennai.
- The #DiasporaDiplomacy series presents prominent Indian Americans discussing their journeys and their role in deepening bonds between the United States and India.
India with UN launches “UNITE AWARE”
- India, in collaboration with the United Nations, launched a technology platform UNITE AWARE on 18 August 2021.
- It aims to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers who are operating in an increasingly complex and risky environment across the world.
- The launch of the platform came as India assumed the Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of August.
Tourism Min signs MOUs with MakeMyTrip, Ibibo
- Ministry of Tourism has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MakeMyTrip (India) Private Limited and Ibibo Group Private Limited.
- The primary objective of this MoU is to provide extensive visibility to accommodation units, which have self-certified themselves on SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry) on the OTA platform.
Rajasthan tops in trading at eNAM
- The Rajasthan government on 18 August 2021 informed that the state has emerged as a leading state in trading at National Agriculture Market (eNAM), since its inception.
- Rajasthan was the first state to allow conversion of all single trading licenses into a unified license to promote e-Trade of farm products.
- Till now, total 37346 traders are working as unified licensee traders.
CCEA okays Rs 77.45 cr for the revival of NERAMAC
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Rs 77.45 cr for the revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited.
- NERAMAC is a central public sector enterprise under the administrative control of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Regional.
- Out of the package, Rs 17 cr is towards fund-based support, and rest is non-fund-based support.
UP setting up ATS training centre in Deoband
- The UP govt has decided to set up a training centre for Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) commandos in Saharanpur’s Deoband, known for its Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband.
- Over one and a half dozen ATS officers, selected from all over the state, will be deputed there.
- The government has already allotted over 2,000 square meters of land for establishing the ATS training center in Deoband.
Priyanka Chopra: MAMI Festival Chairperson
- Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been announced as the Chairperson of Jio MAMI Film Festival, almost four months after Deepika Padukone stepped down from the position.
- The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has unveiled its plans for the coming year and edition.
- Instead of a film festival that happens over a week, Jio MAMI is now going to pan out from October 2021 to March 2022.
Amway appoints Mirabai Chanu as ambassador
- Amway India has appointed Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu as the brand ambassador for Amway and its Nutrilite range of products.
- She will spearhead the company’s campaigns focused on product ranges such as Nutrilite Daily, Omega and All Plant Protein among others.
- Chanu, a weightlifter, won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 49kg category.
Humans pushing the planet towards a ‘tipping point’
- A recent Global survey found that three-quarters of people from the world’s richest nations believe humanity is pushing the earth towards dangerous tipping points.
- In the survey for the Global Commons Alliance, Ipsos Mori found that around 58% of people are extremely concerned with the state of the planet.
- The only country with a 50 per cent approval rate for economic priority was India.
A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered
- The Andaman Islands’ archipelago has yielded a new species of plant.
- Indian biologists discovered the marine green algae during a visit to the island in 2019.
- They confirmed the discovery after nearly 2 yrs of the laborious identification process.
- Researchers from Punjab Central University have named the species Acetabularia jalakanyakae.
- The name “Jalakanyaka” means mermaid in Sanskrit.
Indian cities slip on global rankings
- Due to a dip in prime residential property prices, Indian hubs, including Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai slipped in their rankings in a global list of cities prepared by a consultant every quarter.
- As per a list prepared by Knight Frank, Bengaluru slipped to 43rd spot from 40th in the March quarter as the prices corrected by 2.7%.
- Mumbai’s ranking dropped to 40th while Delhi was at 37th.
Kotak Mahindra Bank launches a platform
- Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL), in a tie-up with Creditas Solutions, has launched a do-it-yourself (DIY) repayment platform for missed loan repayments.
- Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the Neo Collections platform will look to deliver a personalized and non-intrusive experience.
- The platform will analyze both historical as well as live customer interaction data.
Cabinet approves ‘mission palm oil’
- To reduce heavy dependence on the import of edible oils, the Cabinet has approved a new mission for palm oil.
- It will be known as the “National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)”.
- It will have a financial outlay of ₹11,040 crore with a special focus on the North-Eastern region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The scheme will immensely benefit the oil palm farmers.
Taliban stop exports, imports from India: FIEO
- The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) has informed that the Taliba has stopped all imports and exports with India.
- They have stopped the movement of cargo through the transit routes of Pakistan, thereby stopping exports, imports from the country.
- India is not only one of the largest trade partners of Afghanistan but also having a sizeable investment in the country.
SBI Life launches ‘eShield Next’
- SBI Life Insurance has announced the launch of a unique new age protection solution ‘SBI Life eShield Next’, that ‘levels up’ the protection coverage.
- It offers three plan options – ‘Level cover, Increasing cover and Level Cover with Future-Proofing benefit’.
- The absolute amount assured stays constant throughout the policy term in the level cover option.
Gandhi: 1st to get Congressional Gold Medal
- Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from New York has reintroduced legislation in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi.
- He has been awarded for his contributions made through his methods of non-violence.
- Gandhi would become the first Indian to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian award in the US.
Principal: 1st Indian to be part of NBA C’ship
- Principal Singh is now the first Indian to be part of an NBA title-winning team when Sacramento Kings clinched the 2021 NBA Summer League crown.
- He created history by being the first Indian to be part of a championship roster at any level of the NBA.
- The Kings won against Boston Celtics and the margin was 100-67 on August 17, 2021.
World Humanitarian Day: 19 August
- August 19 is observed as World Humanitarian Day every year in honour of all humanitarians who support various causes.
- It also marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the secretary-general to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 21 aid workers were killed in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003.
- 5 years later, UN designating August 19 as this day.
India, Australia sign a document
- Chiefs of the Indian and Australian navies have signed a guidance document to streamline interaction between the two forces at various levels.
- The signing ceremony for the ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia-India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was held on 18 August 2021.
- The document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.
A working group chairs meeting for TRI
- In Jammu and Kashmir, a working group has been constituted by the government for the establishment of the Tribal Research Institute.
- It held its first meeting to finalize the plan for infrastructure, manpower, human resource, and cultural and research wings, on 18 August 2021.
- The TRI with headquarters at Srinagar will have Tribal Research Chairs in Jammu University and 3 other institutes.
Cabinet approves ratification of an agreement
- The Union Cabinet has given its nod for ratification of the Kigali Amendment for phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
- Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone layer was adopted by the parties to the Montreal Protocol at its 28th meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2016.
DCCBs to disburse loans at subsidised rates
- Maharashtra has announced that District Central Cooperative Banks – DCCBs in the flood-affected 6 districts will disburse loans at subsidized rates of 5-6%.
- The decision will benefit traders and small businessmen in Pune, Satara, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, & Raigad districts.
- These loans coupled with the financial assistance of Rs 50,000 – will help them to start their business afresh.
Revised norms for the hiring of bank lockers
- The Reserve Bank has come out with revised guidelines for the hiring of lockers.
- The liability of banks will be limited to 100 times its annual rent in case of fire, theft, building collapse, or fraud by bank employees.
- As per the revised guidelines, which shall come into effect from January 1, 2022, banks will be required to incorporate a clause in the locker agreement.
Capital Float partners with Razorpay
- Capital Float has partnered with Razorpay, to extend its buy now pay later (BNPL) solution—Walnut 369—to all Razorpay-enabled online merchants.
- Customers can sign up while shopping, get approved instantly, and pay for purchases over three, six, or nine months.
- Through this partnership, Capital Float aims to expand to over 100,000 partners and serve customers across 100 cities in India.
ZestMoney promotes Mandar Satpute to CBO
- ZestMoney has promoted Mandar Satpute to the role of Chief Banking Officer.
- Prior to this, Satpute was Vice-President, banking partnerships and has been with the company for over four years having started his stint as the head of partnerships in 2017.
- He will join Harshit Jain, Chief Strategy Officer, and Natalia Lyarskaya, Chief Data Officer as part of the senior leadership team.
India Ratings cuts GDP forecast to 9.4%
- India Ratings and Research has revised downward its economic growth forecast for India to 9.4% for FY22 from 9.6% estimated earlier.
- If India is able to vaccinate its entire adult population by 31 Dec 2021, then the GDP growth is expected to come in at 9.6% y-o-y in FY22, otherwise, it may slip to 9.1%.
- Yet, FY22 GDP will be 10.9% lower than the trend value.
UP felicitates Tokyo Olympics medal winners
- The UP government felicitated the Tokyo Olympics medal winners and contingent members of Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow on 19 August 2021.
- A cash prize of rupees 2 crores was given to the gold medal winner, Rs 1.50 crore to the silver medallists, and rupees 1 crore to the bronze medallists.
- Those who stood at fourth place and did better show were honoured with rupees 50 lakh.
India wins bronze medal in the mixed relay
- The mixed relay team of India won a bronze medal in 4*400 meters at the U20 World Championships being held in Nairobi, with taking the time of 3:20.60, a season-best.
- The 2021 edition of the World Athletics U20 Championships will continue till 22 August 2021 at the Nyayo Sports Complex.
- Hima Das had clinched the gold medal in the women’s 400m in Tampere in 2018.
Study on the intersection of COVID, Tuberculosis
- Doctors and researchers from India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa have partnered to conduct a study on the epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and Tuberculosis pandemics in these countries.
- Under this joint research, the teams from these countries will explore the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiological characteristics of TB infection.